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View Full Version : [4ed] Am I playing my Warlock right?



ShaggyMarco
2008-10-01, 06:17 AM
Cause he's awesome.

I'm running an Infernal-Pact Warlock through KotS right now. While I love theoretical optimization, my gaming group tends to see all of the characters I make as "gimmicky," so this time I decided not to craft a character around a single "gimmick" (like say, 2 of my long running 3rd ed characters: Counterspelling everything or Getting A ridiculous Number of Attacks per round in Full Plate Armor).

We are all non-human races, and, for the campaign framework the DM is using, he wanted us each to be a different race. I ended up with a Gnoll. I did take some of my favorite elements of the Hexhammer Warlock build and am adapting them to my gnoll, but overall, I am building him as a basic Infernal Warlock who dabbles in some Con-based Star-powers.

In easy fights, I mark whomever I can, stand behind the melee characters (Minotaur Fighter, Dwarven Paladin, Dragonborn Warlord, and Drow Rogue) and in front of the Wizard (Eladrin Wizard) and blast things with Eldritch Blast, Diabolic Grasp (for moving baddies into getting flanked), and Frigid darkness on a particularly nasty peice of work. I almost never use healing surges or get hit. Given a fight with lots of enemies, I will frequently walk right up to whichever creature the Fighter is dealing with and start Fiendish Rebuking him from an adjacent square, provoking attacks of opportunity which he takes (and then gets attacked by the Fighter) or he doesn't even attempt (because he's been attacked by the fighter before, and knows how much it hurts). Then, if the poor ranged striker in the middle of melee gets hurt, the creature I just attacked takes even MORE damage.

In the two boss fights we've been in, I've teamed up with the Paladin to do SICK amounts of damage.

Last night we fought a blue slime monster. I waited until I was bloodied (+2 damage--yay for being a gnoll!) and then popped up Armor of Agathys for the 12 temp HP and the every round damage. I then got cozy with the slime monster and started my Fiendish Rebuke trick. This time, it was the Paladin who had the monster marked.

Gnoll: Fiendish Rebuke w/curse (2d6+6 damage), Slimy (OA-Takes 6 damage from Divine Challenge)
Slimy: Takes Armor of Agathys damage (1d6+6 damage), attacks me, hurts me, and is Rebuked (1d6+6 damage).

I was hitting reliably with my At-will because of Prime Shot, few bad rolls, and the use of an action point to try again the one round I missed.

Common 1 round damage total: 4d6+24 (38 damage/round on average)

Yes, I was taking lots of damage most every round, but between the Paladin and Warlord, I was being kept in Temporary Hit-Points. I also rolled well to throw off the on-going acid damage and the AOE Daze/Weakened effect he hit us with.

Eventually the thing stopped taking OAs on me, because he was just getting beaten down. I ended the fight with 1 hp and an ongoing 5 acid about to hit me on my round--yay for Lay on Hands!

Here is my question: Is the Infernal Warlock designed to be a melee-Warlock who uses his Temp HP and high Con to absorb lots of damage while provoking OAs that make the party Defenders happy to get to use their abilities?

I think they are.

Torque
2008-10-01, 06:28 AM
I'm running an Infernal-Pact Warlock through KotS right now. While I love theoretical optimization, my gaming group tends to see all of the characters I make as "gimmicky," so this time I decided not to craft a character around a single "gimmick"
I have to say that "Infernal-Pact Gnoll Warlock" sounds pretty gimmicky right off the bat.

Tempest Fennac
2008-10-01, 06:32 AM
I don't play 4th Edition D&D, but I tend to take the stance that if you're character is effective, it's always a good thing. What alignment is your Gnoll? I'm just curious due to the idea that it's gimmicky.

Totally Guy
2008-10-01, 06:36 AM
Eventually the thing stopped taking OAs on me, because he was just getting beaten down. I ended the fight with 1 hp and an ongoing 5 acid about to hit me on my round--yay for Lay on Hands!

Here is my question: Is the Infernal Warlock designed to be a melee-Warlock who uses his Temp HP and high Con to absorb lots of damage while provoking OAs that make the party Defenders happy to get to use their abilities?

It that just the paladin mark that's being triggered? Or something else as well. In my game we have both an infernal warlock and a paladin but I've not seen them figure out this particular trick (possibly as I'd not been triggering opportunity attacks properly for a warlock blasting at close range for the first couple of sessions). Nice one, I'll suggest this tactic.

serok42
2008-10-01, 08:22 AM
I have to say that "Infernal-Pact Gnoll Warlock" sounds pretty gimmicky right off the bat.

If by Gimmicky you mean awesome then yes :smallbiggrin:

And yes I agree with the OP Infernal Warlocks are more able to "tank" than other locks.

I myself play a dwarven Infernal Pact Warlock wearing chain mail and wielding a war hammer (soon to be pact hammer) in one hand and a rod of corruption in the other. I still try to skirt the edge of the battle though but I can hold my own in the middle of it as well.

ShaggyMarco
2008-10-01, 09:58 AM
Gimmicky? I'm a Shaman of Yeenoghu allied with the group out of mutual hatred for Orcus. What other class would a Gnoll Yeenoghu Shaman be than Infernal Warlock?

I kind of thought I was playing a standard Gnoll infernalist.

I was selected by my people to join the council of Races (part of the campaign background) because I was a little too understanding of other points of view, though I do like to devour the souls of the guilty. I am Unaligned, with tendencies towards brutality and devouring both the souls and the flesh of my fallen foes (evilish). I don't care about right and wrong. I care about defeating Yeenoghu's enemies, eliminating Orcus and his minions, and protecting the pack.

I play to my Gnoll's Con and Dex bonuses by using Con to fuel my Infernal Powers, and my decent dex to eventually get a little extra AC out of 2-weapon fighting (mace in one hand, pact blade in the other). I have a decent Strength for Furious Charge and melee basic attacks. I might eventually decide to multi-fighter a little bit, in order to have some decent melee attacks to use in base-to-base combat.

I'm definitely the most savage in the group. The Minotaur and I get along by tending towards savage, overwhelming force. The dwarf and I find common ground along the lines that he sees his Clan and my Pack as basically the same idea. The Drow tends towards evil too, so naturally neither of us trust the other. The Dragonborn barely tolerates most of the party, and keeps us in check from going truly savage and evil. The Eladrin is aloof and mysterious, only deining to travel with us for his own mysterious reasons.

I like the group dynamic alot.

Yes, the triggering damage is from the Dwarven Paladin's Mark.

Hzurr
2008-10-01, 11:19 AM
This makes me sad. You're definately doing it right, but all it does is show how badly the Infernal Warlock in my KotS game is doing it wrong. The party has the exact same classes as yours does (plus a ranger), but our Warlock has been by far the least effective member. Now, part of that is because his average dice roll is around 4, but his tactics have been more or less "I move 3 spaces and Eldrich blast."

...

*sigh*

So you're definately doing it right. From someone who has seen it done wrong; trust me, you're doing it right.

MammonAzrael
2008-10-01, 11:40 AM
Sounds to me like you're playing it right.

And if you're enjoying your gnoll, you'll probably want to take a look at this (http://www.wizards.com/files/367_Playing_Gnolls.pdf)! :smallbiggrin:

Mark Hall
2008-10-01, 11:41 AM
He does seem to miss out on some of the variations between powers, doesn't he?

I'm looking forward to the hobgoblins at the bottom of the stairs, myself. I ain't used my daily, yet.

ShaggyMarco
2008-10-01, 11:44 AM
It that just the paladin mark that's being triggered?

Yes it is. The Paladin will generally mark whenever there is one clear boss enemy or in a solo fight, and the Fighter spends most of his time locking down multiple bad guys. In huge melees the Paladin is definitely the weaker of the two defenders. In Solo fights, however, he shines.

In massive multi-enemy fights, it is the fighter, wizard, and dragonborn warlord who really look good.

In small-scale Elite/Solo fights? Me, the Rogue, and the Paladin really save the day.

The cool thing about that fight last night was that it started as a massive melee with TONS of minions and two big elites, and ended up as a solo fight against the slime monster.

Mando Knight
2008-10-01, 12:12 PM
Get Defensive Mobility ASAP, it'll only help your build. (Opportunity attacks sapping your TempHP? Not anymore!) This also seems to be one of the ways to play Archer Rangers, since they can provide CA while in melee range with a bow in 4E...

Toughness is also a good feat for you, and if your DM is allowing Dragon stuff, you might want to throw in a Gnoll feat from the September issue...

And yeah, you do seem to be Doin' It Right.

ShaggyMarco
2008-10-01, 12:26 PM
I looked at the Gnoll stuff and not much of it excited me. If we make it up to Epic Tier, I will probably pick up the two Ferocious charge feats from Paragon and Epic, so I will be able to use some of my power-swapped fighter encounter powers at the end of a charge attack.

I am definitely toying with getting toughness soon...probably at level 4 in fact, though, Disciple of Caiphon is also really attractive.

I hadn't thought of Defensive Mobility...damn. That's a great feat for me! My AC kind of sucks (I will probably up my armor eventually...right now, just Chain for me.)

Right now my feats are Armor Proficiency (Chain) and Improved Dark One's Blessing. I will probably trade-out the improved blessing eventually, but at low levels, it makes the Temp HP from killing baddies worth it.

Let me go and revisit my build ideas...

SadisticFishing
2008-10-01, 01:03 PM
Yep, that's what infernal warlocks do.

Note that you can now flank with ranged attacks. I played a level 1 Dwarf Infernal Warlock, and it was FUN.

Then the campaign died...

But yeah, you're doing it right. I liked doing it with a fighter more, though, because that way someone else feels like they're doing damage.

Nonah_Me
2008-10-01, 01:32 PM
Yep, that's what infernal warlocks do.

Note that you can now flank with ranged attacks. I played a level 1 Dwarf Infernal Warlock, and it was FUN.

Then the campaign died...

But yeah, you're doing it right. I liked doing it with a fighter more, though, because that way someone else feels like they're doing damage.

Was that errata'ed, or did I just miss it? Because I bought Shimmering Armor +1 (cloth) for my Starlock so I could get the Prime Shot bonus without provoking AoOs, and I'd like to be able to contribute to a flank more easily.

SadisticFishing
2008-10-01, 02:29 PM
Well, it says that if there is someone on each side of a target, they're flanking. Nothing about ranged or melee attacks.

At level 1, +7 against Reflex is very good (+4 con, +2 flanking, +1 prime shot). Then, provoking AOs also lets the Fighter take a free swing, and taking damage makes Hellfire Rebuke work better...

Infernal Warlocks are amazing DPSers. As are Artful Dodger rogues. Provoking AOs FTW.